28 April 2010

Jumping can be Hazardous to Your Health

I’ve had stitches twice in my life (that weren’t because of a surgery). Both times could have been avoided but irresponsible jumping got the better of me.

When I was six(ish), I shared a room with my older sister. Our beds were parallel to one another. This meant the perfect opportunity to jump on and between the beds. I was told on several occasions not to jump on the bed but the enticement was too great. While my parents were distracted by numerous guests who were over for a get together one day, I decided to take the opportunity to indulge in a little bed jumping.

I was able to successfully jump between the two beds several times. It was thrilling. On one particular hearty jump, I went past the intended bed and fell against the closet door. The skinny doorknob connected nicely with the corner of my eyebrow. I don’t remember much but I do remembering seeing a lot of red and thinking it was a volcano. I stumbled to the backyard, probably trailing blood behind me, and found my parents. I was rushed to the hospital and had several stitches. My mother says there was blood between my toes from the ordeal.

When I was eleven I was playing with some friends. We were headed to the basement to play in the unfinished section. (It made for a great prison or cavern.) I headed down the stairs first. The other two chased each other and came charging down after me. Trying to be polite, I jumped the rest of the way down the stairs to get out of their way. Instead of landing on my feet, I found myself sitting at the bottom, my back resting against the stairs. I tipped my head forward, confused, and blood dripped onto my hands. My mother rushed me to the hospital while I giggled in the passenger seat. I got five stitches in the top of my head. (As my brother likes to joke, I have a bald spot. It is closer to the front and is often where my bangs start and not noticeable.)

What apparently happened was I hit the corner of the ceiling when I jumped. I actually dented it with my skull. I believe it’s fixed now but for years the family joked about putting a sign by the dent with my name on it.

The scar on my eyebrow faded for many years but is now prominent again. I’m not sure why it’s more visible but it makes me laugh. When I have children I have a good reason why people shouldn’t jump and the scars to prove it. Remember folks: Make sure to jump responsibly.

25 April 2010

*This is Stupid

Michael's Story (#5)

Ty is forcing me to write this. I was able to keep it from him for nearly a week.

My name is Michael. When I touched a watch, everything changed.



Then I came back.

Happy Ty?






Fine. Little Mermaid. If this gets out, I'm going to hurt you. And yes, I'm still going to eat fish.

21 April 2010


I work at a computer for eight hours a day and then go home to work on the computer. Because I work so much on a computer it has become necessary that I wear reading glasses. My father and older brother wear glasses and I never thought much of it. I know that I would never be able to wear contacts because I hate the idea of sticking my finger in my eye. People say you get used to it but I am not even going to try.

When I got my first pair of glasses I got really thin frames that didn’t even go under the lenses. I liked the invisible look. The more I wore my reading glasses, the more I realized how many people wear glasses. There was a long period of time when glasses were thought to be ‘dorky’ or ‘geeky.’ Not so anymore. They are a great accessory item. Thick frames are cool and the more designs the better. Granted not everyone thinks this but I find it really neat that wearing glasses isn’t nearly as bad as it used to be. I got my second pair of glasses a couple of months ago and I did go with a thicker frame. They’re pretty neat.

I have a co-worker that doesn’t need glasses but has a couple so that she can wear them to match her outfits. She is the most stylish person at work. She always looks nice and professional.

18 April 2010


Jake (#4)

I'm not nearly as good of a writer as the others but I was told by Ty to write my story. Hopefully I remember everything correctly.

After seeing a giant pumpkin nearly crush one of my best friends, in front of our house, dad was not willing to let me out. At first Dad would let me out if I was well armed but mom disapproved of an eighteen-year-old packing heat. It didn't matter that I was a better shot than most of dad's gun buddies. I didn't mind mom's intervention. Carrying a handgun around was not something I wanted to do. I didn't like violence, ironic for being the son of a weapons addict.

It was nearly two weeks after Brad's encounter. Since it was Saturday I was able to be out of the house and with the guys. As we headed to the skate park, Tyson explained his encounter in the forest. It was odd to see Tyson looking to Brad for confirmation. In the past, Tyson only came to hang out because his best friend Steve was in our group.

At the skate park I sat on a hill sketching since I had a rotten sense of balance. While some were rocking the half-pipe a couple of the other guys pulled out a Frisbee to play. I was invited but turned them down. My athleticism was limited to walking to and from school. Running was out of the question and trying to catch while running was completely impossible.

A shadow across my paper caused me to look up. It was a skater looking at the drawing I'd done. After a few minutes, he wandered off. I watched him go and caught sight of something sticking out of the grass. Carefully setting down the paper and shifting to grab the object. As my fingers clasped the pencil, a shock went up my arm and my vision blurred.

It took a moment for me to get my bearings. The room was dark and there was a musty smell. Something shifted next to me a blanket was gently laid over me. Someone grumbled and moved away. I think I feel back asleep. When I woke again I opened my eyes.

The room wasn't dark. There was a large window and a cluttered desk. The bed I was on wasn't large and had a bedspread with large hibiscus flowers. I tried to sit up but could only move my head from side to side. The door to the bedroom opened and I stared as Samantha came in. She frowned and I mentally squirmed under the piercing gaze. Grumbling about her bed being taken, she moved to a chair and sat with her legs pulled up.

Neither of us talked but just examined each other. The light through the window cast a shadow across part of her face and I wished fervently for my sketch pad. I had always wanted to talk to Samantha but now that we were alone in a room together there was nothing I had to say. She was the person I always watched, hoping to learn more about her.

There was a tone somewhere else in the house and Samantha left briefly, coming back into the room with Ty. They were at each other's throats as usual and I turned my head away at the names they called each other. I knew that Samantha had rescued Ty from his dungeon and that Ty was bitter about it. He had no respect for her. Since Ty was the unofficial leader of our group, everyone followed his lead. When he ridiculed Samantha everyone agreed.

They argued for a while about what to do with me. Ty accused her of being behind all of the magical disturbances. Samantha insisted that it had been luck she'd found him and that I'd appeared on her bed. Their voices got louder and with as much energy I could muster I whistled. It was shrill and piercing, something I'd learned for sports games. Ty made one last futile attempt to accuse Samantha as he moved to help me.

I guess I snapped. After watching Samantha in school for years I became rash. I berated Ty for being stupid and told him to leave Samantha alone. I argued with him for a while and he finally dragged me out of bed and out of the room. I still couldn't walk and he dropped me in the hall. As I lay there, Samantha stood in the door, arms crossed. Her face was burned into my mind as I was taken home and put in bed.

It took three days for me to get any motor skills back and it was nearly a week before I was back in school. The first day back I ate lunch with the group. When Samantha walked by there were some of the usual remarks. She passed behind me and I grabbed her hand, pulling her down to sit next to me. I still had a difficult time speaking and my movements were shaky, making it very difficult to draw. Ignoring everyone else, I did what I'd wanted to for years: we're going on a date.

Ironically as soon as I asked, the strange side effects disappeared the rest of the way.

14 April 2010

Scary Next Door Neighbors

I wasn't sure I wanted to post this but now that it is over, and I will never see these people again, I'm not worried so my family can know without them being worried about me.

During college I lived in a different apartment every school year and summer. Most, well all of the places were cheap because, let’s see, I was a poor college student. There was one place that was definitely scarier than the rest. It was an off campus apartment building and during the school year I lived with some friends and when they left for the summer, I moved to the apartment next door to live with some other friends. My new roommates were great. We got along really well. (Except when they would come into my room while I was sleeping and I would yell at them in my sleep. I still feel bad about that. I have now done it to my husband.)

Story 1
One evening I was upstairs reading when one of my roommates called for me. I went down and she was sitting forward on the couch looking at the back door that led out onto a little back walkway. Unless she sat forward she was hidden from view. Someone had come in through the back door and started rifling through her purse sitting on the kitchen counter. At first she thought it was me, I was the only other person home and we hadn’t invited anyone over. She realized I wouldn’t go through her purse so had leaned forward and saw a young man looking through her wallet. She asked him what he was doing and he ran out of the room, to the apartment next door. After a few moments he headed down the back staircase and we never saw him again. We never left the doors unlocked after that, even when we were home.

Story 2
There was one evening when I was home alone and a lot of strange noises drifted over from next door, including screaming and strange thumping noises against the wall. It kept getting louder and louder and then there were people yelling in the parking lot, revving car engines. I broke down and called the police. I told them what was going on and begged that they keep the call anonymous. I sat on my roommate’s bed in a dark room, clutching a knife that was a gift for someone else as I waited for the cops to come. I stayed that way until long after the cops had left and the noises quieted down.

Story 3
Since it was summer the nights were really hot. We didn’t have air conditioning so we often slept with the windows open. It soon became apparent that we would have to chose between staying cool or staying sober. The people next door decided the best place to smoke their illegal pot was on the back porch, under our bedroom window. I had some weirder than normal dreams some of those nights. (I would like to blame my sleep talking on the drugs but I’ve done it for years.)

11 April 2010

*Running with Axes

Tyson's Story (#3) (I'm not Ty.)

I'm Tyson. Not Ty. Remember that. I hate it when people confuse us.

Two weeks ago I thought Ty and Brad were a little messed up. Who wouldn't think that with their crazy claims. Granted, I like those two as good friends but some of the jokes they've played on me in the past has lowered my belief in what they say.

Since I'm in the track and field at school, afternoons are devoted to training. Hanging out with the guys always comes after. With a big race coming up, the longer the run, the more inadequate I felt. Practices were stretching longer and later into the evening.

While running, I would always let my mind wander and lately it always drifted to the ridiculous claims. Out of breath, I jogged in place and started cooling down. Looking around the city park, I noticed a drinking fountain nestled under one of the trees. The water was cool and refreshing. It soothed my ragged throat and I took another drink before heading back home.

Jogging towards the edge of the park, I shivered as a slight breeze rustled the leaves. My foot caught a root and I stumbled forward, lightly putting a hand down on the ground to keep on my feet. There was a low growl from the trees. It was difficult to tell where it was coming from since it echoed through the trunks all around.

“Are you okay?” a silky voice asked.

I spun around, startled. A young woman, in a very short skirt, was leaning against a tree next to the path. No one that pretty had ever asked me anything.

“I'm fine,” I stammered.

“Where are you headed?”

I tried to lounge against a tree and nearly missed, stumbling backwards. Not so cool. Saying I had to get back for dinner or be grounded would give a bad impression.

“I'm meeting my friends for gaming.”

“Need one more?” She moved closer to me and I could smell the perfume. My rational mind screamed and I moved away, further down the trail.

“Sorry. Got to get going.”

While the larger part of my brain complained about leaving such a gorgeous woman alone in a dark forest, the smaller, louder part was more convincing. I ran down the trail and through the woods. The park took one city block and I knew I'd run further but there was no end in sight. When a small cottage came into view I paused. Bast it all, Ty and Brad were right. This was definitely not normal and something was wrong.

“Help!” The voice came from the cottage and it was frantic. High pitched and hysterical. I took a step toward the cottage and paused. Which fairy tale was I in? I needed to find protection.

I scavenged around the cottage and found something comforting. Ax in hand, I approached the door and kicked it open. The house was dark and consisted of two rooms. When the main room proved to be empty, I ducked into the bedroom. Someone was lying in the bed, covers pulled up, hiding most of the features.

Raising the ax over my head I asked, “Are you suppose to be my grandmother?”

“Why yes dear.”

“Errr. Wrong answer. My grandmothers are both dead.”

I swung the ax down, cutting a chunk out of the bed frame. The person sat upright in bed and I stared at the gorgeous women who I'd seen on the trail.

“I'm little red riding hood? How embarrassing. But at least I know, I win.” As she lunged, teeth bared, I knew it was either me or her. Swinging the ax again with my eyes closed, I felt something tug the ax and throw me back against the wall.

A killer headache pounded behind my eyes as something shook my shoulder. I tried to swing the ax again but my hands were empty. I never intended to hit anyone with it but I rather not be eaten by anything, even by the hot chick. Slowly opening my eyes, I nearly laughed.

“Tyson, you okay?” Brad asked, his eyes wide.

I gave a wry grin, “Best prank yet. How'd you get the hottie to agree?”

07 April 2010

Tragic Love Stories (Make Me Sick)

I enjoy good romance stories. The guy and girl meet, fall in love, live happily ever after. What I don’t like are stories that forget the last step: When there’s no happily ever after. I cry at the drop of the hat, I used to tease my mother about it. Now there are times I tear up during commercials.

There is a time and a place for the emotional trauma of watching a show and not having the couple get together. Obviously there is a group out there that likes them otherwise they wouldn’t be written. I can’t figure out why some people think that the tragic love story is more powerful. Living with someone has its own challenges and trials. Seeing a couple go through something emotional together and become stronger at the end is a lot more satisfying than watching one of them DIE A HORRIBLE DEATH while the other one pines away in the memory. (I know I am being terribly stereotypical. Shot me. But then you would have another tragic love story.)

Spoiler Alert: In every Final Fantasy game/movie but one, the couple does not get together. Normally one of them dies a horrible death or gets sucked into another dimension or something irreversibly separating. There is one where the couple actually gets to stay together at the end. When it was over, my husband turned to me and asked, “Was that really Final Fantasy?”

04 April 2010

*Death by Pumpkin

Brad's Story (#2)

I lived happily with my family so why was I missing a shoe running away from a pumpkin that was chasing me down the street.

We had all been glad when Ty came back, that we went out to celebrate. There was a new arcade open down the street so we headed out. The banter was light, Sassy Sam saving Ty would be something to laugh about but none of us would forget Ty vanishing in the middle of class. We owed Sam but none of us were ever going to admit it.

I had to wait for the game I wanted to play. The people in front of me weren't so good and I was sure I could go farther on one token than anyone else. With only one token, I had more reasons to succeed on the first try.

“Come on Brad,” Ty said. He'd already blown his three tokens on another game and wouldn't admit but didn't want to be alone. I was impressed he actually touched anything.

Excited, I slid my token into the game and took hold of the joystick. As soon as I touched it, my hands tingled.

Opening my eyes reassured I was no sleeping beauty. It was a large, elaborate room. Music was loud, and couples were dancing. Their movement was enticing, but I am a wall holder. I shifted myself over to the wall and leaned against it. When a girl looked my way I felt self-conscious. Without the others I couldn't handle it. While looking away, I noticed my shoes and clothes had changed. My family could afford everything we needed, as long as it was found on sale, or at a thrift store. No one ever said anything and I didn't stick out in any way.

I shuffled uncomfortably, the clothes were stiff, like they were starched. I hate starch. A spotlight drew my attention to someone coming into the room. A small tiara was perched on her head and I thought I recognized her from the private academy in town. I took one more look around and bolted for the door. Ty's experience and mine were looking similar in the fairy tale line and I was not ready to be involved. Outside there was a large staircase and the stairs were covered with glue. I didn't realize that until I managed to lose the shoe and sock from my right foot.

A thumping noise behind me was getting closer. Anything with enough enough force to shake the ground was not something I wanted to see. I'm a coward and looking at problems in the eye made me catatonic, not heroic. The streets were dark, but a familiar house was up ahead. The door was locked, so I pounded on the door.

“Jake, help!”

When the thump crashed into something, I finally turned around. The giant pumpkin landed on the fence and was stuck on the posts. Tearing my gaze away, I pounded on the door again. It fell open and I stumbled in. Jake's dad held something in each hand and I had never been so grateful to see my friend's crazy father.

“Get down Ty,” he yelled.

Even calling me by the wrong name was okay. I ducked behind him and watched, amazed as he threw two grenades towards the orange mass. That couldn't be legal but I rather face prison than being squashed by pumpkin. There was a great explosion but no mess. When the grenades detonated, everything disappeared, including my fancy clothes. I spent the night at Jake's house, reassured by the patrols his father preformed every hour.

The next day, I braced myself but managed to get the high score on the game with only one token.